Coast Guard Actively Searching for Missing Family of Four Off Florida Coast
The Coast Guard says it is actively searching for the family of four who went missing this week off the Gulf coast of Florida.
Search teams with the Coast Guard Air Station in Clearwater are searching east of Boca Grande, Florida, after searching more than 27,000 square miles. On Friday, June 24, the Coast Guard released a video showing an aircrew conducting a search of the area.
Ace Kimberly, 45, and his three children–Rebecca Kimberly, 17, Donald Kimberly, 15, and Roger Kimberly, 13, were last heard from on Sunday afternoon. Ace’s brother said he got a call saying they were trying to survive six-foot waves.
The family departed in a sailboat from Sarasota and were heading to Fort Meyers when they lost contact. The Coast Guard initiated its search on Wednesday.
On June 23, the Coast Guard announced it recovered a second body about four miles from the location of the first body.
It is not clear if the two bodies were any of the missing family members, officials said, but a family member, Sadie Ditts, said it was her niece, Rebecca Kimberly, WFTV-9 reported.
“As a father of four, I know how devastating these findings are to them, and we’re cognizant of that and we’re trying to treat them with the utmost respect,” U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Captain Gregory Case said. “This is still an ongoing search and rescue. We still have three persons out there that we’re trying desperately to locate. We are doing everything we can and throwing everything we have at this search at this time.”
And on June 22, officials found a debris field containing “items such as water jugs, tarps, six life jackets, a throwable life ring, a propane tank, a pair of shoes and a basketball,” a Coast Guard news release stated.
Meanwhile, “a crew from Station Fort Myers Beach located a green sit-in kayak in the vicinity of the original debris field matching the description of a kayak known to be with the family,” the release added. All the debris was attributed to the missing sailboat and family.
On Thursday, a bucket was found, containing the Kimberly’s birth certificates, a GPS, wallet, cigarettes, mobile phone, pool noodle and toolbox, the Coast Guard stated.